Bullets and Rails 2018

The Plum Creek Shooting Society hosted the Battle of Plum Creek – Bullets and Rails 2018 this weekend at the Comanche Country Ranch owned by landowners Lyman and Nancy who have kept it running as an outstanding cowboy range facility.

This year the shoot is based on famous train scenes in western movies with even a silent movie start in the Livery.

After much rain in previous weeks, it appears the range has been mostly spared and the ground is soft under foot but not boggy.

Day 1 was Wild Bunch and side matches which went off in fine sunny weather.

Day 2 rolls around with a clear cool start and more sunshine expected to continue. The mornings proceedings start with welcomes, pledge of allegiance, pledge to Texas, prayers and 'Patience'. Patience is a cannon but I couldn't tell you the details of her magnificence but if you asked her caretaker, Artiman, I bet you he could tell you more than a story or two.

 

Under the intricate instruction of Artimans artillery commands he and his fellow cowboys, come recruits get Patience ready for action. (You have to go to the Facebook page to see her in action). Now ready for firing, me holding iPad to video, I realise I don't have earplugs and only the capability to plug one ear hole, well….you can see by the video, that I still was not expecting the result! My ears were ringing for a good while!

 

We all moved off to our respective start stages for Day 1 of the Main Match and commenced stages 2-7 with our posse of Texas Ghost, Lady Ghost, Oklahoma Dee, Kansas City Sneed, Lefty Wheeler, Krazy Legs Kay, Texas Drifter, Chisos, Red River Raider (and the ever spectacularly dressed Petticoat Parker), G W Ketchum (thanks Suzie for keeping score all weekend), Six Goin South, Kickshot, Jack and myself.

Last night was the banquet and I assisted Six Goin South and Lorilei Longshot with a costume contest in the Parlour House Reception whilst men gathered in the Saloon next door. Congratulations to all who attended and placed.

 

Side match awards were given. A neat train whistle, theme appropriate for the shoot. I walked away with 4 so I may share with Jack if he wants to play trains! Haa haa haa!

 

Thanks Lyman for putting together your band and playing too. Music was great!!

Day 2 of the Main Match and we are set to finish stages 8, 9, 10 and 1. We had thunderstorms last night and the range has seen a massive downpour that has created better environments for pigs! Lol!

It is boggy as but the match officials are hurriedly running around clearing water and laying bags of sawdust as best they can, After a delay, we started at 9.15am to finish the match.

Lunch was on – fajitas – and might I just say the lunches and dinner the crew put on the whole weekend was outstanding especially lunch today. Awesome job and it was very much appreciated.

Awards got under way and the prizes were railroad spikes. Not just any old railway spikes I might add, these are the real deal. Actual 1800's railway spikes from Texas railroads.

 

Joe Darter gave a little trivia behind them before they started the awards. He 'acquired' these from somebody he knew that had connections. All the spikes are uniquely marked and highly collectible. The makers of the spikes would mark their initials or other carvings into them. If you were injured during other railway work back then, you usually ended up with one of these jobs also. All these spikes are marked, engraved with the shoot name and some with Champion on them.

Special awards made by Two Spurs and in keeping with the railway theme were given to our, shall we say, more mature cowboy and cowgirl at the match. Cherokee Clay and Lady Ghost received these awards for 'Most Train Rides'. Such a neat idea.

 

Jack with a jam in his rifle today finished 3rd in Elder Statesman. Congratulations 1st Skyhawk Hans, 2nd Wildcat Bob, 4th Dusty Mines, 5th Lefty Wheeler, 6th Little Bowley, 7th Ranger Tay.

 

Congratulations to my fellow Lady Wrangler shooter in 2nd place, Krazy Kat.

 

There were 16 clean match winners from 203 shooters for the match. I had a clean match!

Congratulations to Oklahoma Dee 1st man overall and I won ladies overall AND finished 2nd place in the match right behind him!

 

Thanks to all the crew at Plum Creek Shooting Society once again for a great match.

Kat xo

 

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Casey Jones

Casey Jones, climbed in the cabin,

Casey Jones, orders in his hand

Casey Jones, leanin' out the window

Takin' a trip to the Promised Land

Now you've got that stuck in your head, haven't you?! I did the whole way through the Casey Jones Home & Railroad Museum.

 

Mind you that is the chorus from Johnny Cash's version of 'Casey Jones'. The original 'Ballad of Casey Jones' was written by Wallace Saunders, a friend of Casey Jones.

Come, all you rounders, if you want to hear

The story told of a brave engineer;

Casey Jones was the rounder's name

A high right-wheeler of mighty fame.

It is long and tells of brave Casey Jones riding the trains and saving his passengers on his last fateful ride.

 

He was born John Luther Jones in Southeast Missouri on March 14, 1863, the eldest of 5 children. He and his siblings grew up in Cayce, Kentucky. He fell in love with all things railroad. During his railroad work when asked where he was from, with Cayce being the answer he was soon known and referred to as 'Casey Jones'.

Casey started work with the Mobile & Ohio Railroad as a telegrapher at age 15. While boarding with a family in Jackson, TN he met and fell in love with the proprietors daughter, Janie Brady. He and Janie were married in 1886 and had 3 children of their own. He was a devoted father and husband.

 

Having become a proficient telegrapher, Casey then moved up to the position of fireman. Eventually earning his ultimate role as an engineer, Casey was one of the best.

 

During his employ with Illinois Central Railroad, Casey was making a run from Memphis, TN to Canton, MS on April 30, 1900. At 3.52am he was killed in a train wreck.

The mainline was supposed to be clear for the mail and passenger run but Casey didn't know that ahead, a train had stalled on a siding due to a broken air hose, leaving 3 of its carriages still sticking out on the main line.

 

Casey had almost no warning but managed to slow his engine from 70mph to 35mph, telling his fireman Sim Webb to 'jump!' just moments before the impact. With one hand on the whistle and the other on the brake, Casey's engine collided with the other train and he was killed in the crash. He had managed to slow the train enough that all his passenger cars stayed on the track and all passengers survived. He was just 37 years old.

 

If my memory serves me correctly from the short introductory video, compensation payouts totalled around $29, with the highest being $5 for bruising to the fireman.

Through personal appearances by Sim Webb at events honouring Casey Jones, the ballad written by Wallace Saunders and his wife, Casey became famous around the world.

The museum houses many railroad artefacts, a model display of Casey's crash, news articles, photos, and much more. Through the museum and out on the platform is Engine 382 where you can ring the bell of the engine.

 

After hearing the railway sounds on the platform you can walk around to go through and view his original 1870's home that was relocated to the current site in 1980. It was originally located at 211 West Chester Street in downtown Jackson.

 

Also located here is a number of small shops in the Casey Jones Village. The Brooks Shaw & Son Old Country Store, is a step back in time! From the moment you enter there are the original post boxes, counters filled with old antiques, exquisitely ornate timber shelving, the antique original soda fountain and 1890's ice cream parlor.

 

The Old Country Store offers buffet style meals, three times a day or you can get take out or eat in the Dixie Cafe on the other side within the store.

The food choices were many and everything was very fresh. There is also another area with some old homes, chapel, bakery, mini golf and farm that we didn't visit.

If you ever get into Jackson, TN this is all worth a visit!!

Kat xo

Click on the link below for more info.

Casey Jones Village

 

Hell On Wheels

As the Union Pacific roll's by on the nearby tracks of the Otto Road shooting club, the Border Vigilantes held their annual Hell On Wheels match this past weekend the 29 June-1st July.

Situated 8 miles west of Cheyenne, 233 shooters headed out for the match. Friday was side match day with a morning and afternoon 4 stage warm up, as well as speed side events and long range.

Saturday was 6 stages of main match and after coming from End Of Trail the target distances and sizes were somewhat different. The stages were reasonable with some longer runs between positions. At the end of the day I was clean and Jack had a couple of issues.

 

Saturday lunchtime after we finished shooting a storm came through which would be good for settling the dust and stopping the marble like granite dust from rolling under your feet across each stage! The temperature dropped by about 20 degrees.

 

Sunday took a cooler start for the morning requiring jacket and gloves for a few stages, we headed in to the next and last 6 stages of the match. We had an awesome posse headed by Pick along with Tin Lizzy, Avery Wade, Roy's Creek Dan, Highland Scottie, Gabby Gertie, West Okie Wayne, Loose Cannon, Coyote Cole, Burnt Bacon, Dapper Dynamite Dick, Della, Bandana Bob, Phantom, Mountain Menace, Pinewood Kid, Pinewood Rose and Cactus Jim.

 

Not fabulous for Jack and 1 miss for me so we would see how it would turn out in the wash. I won a few side matches and did the shootout – final round with Avery Wade.

 

Jack finished 2nd in category and 15th overall. Congrats to the other Silver Senior's and to Angry Tom who took 1st place.

 

Congrats to the fellow Lady Wrangler shooters!

 

I had a good finish 1st cowgirl and 8th overall with White Lightning Jack from New Zealand finishing 1st overall!

 

Congratulations to all who entered and thanks to the Border Vigilantes for our Hell On Wheels visit.

Kat xo

 

Cheyenne Visit

Thursday was a free day and after some gun cleaning and new stock cover replacement it was time to head out.

After a car wash Jack and I ventured downtown and coming to the historic Plains Hotel we spied some neat old cars parked there doing a run from Paris to New York.

We headed across the square to the Depot where we found Accomplice Beer Company – Agarita Annie and Neuces Slim worded us up on this one!

What a great place, not only for being situated in the original Cheyenne train depot and right next to the railway lines but the ultimate in beer experience’s for sure.

When you enter the craft brewery you hand over a card and name then you are given a beer card.

Inside the main bar and restaurant area is 14 different beer taps, a variety of glass sizes, styles and growlers.

The beer menu board shows the beer appropriate to the tap including your ABV (alcohol by volume), IBU (international bitter units), name and brief description.

Now the fun begins! You place your card in front of the beer tap screen and pour as little or as much as you want. It then tells you how many ounces and how much it cost you for that pour.

As you work your way through them it will give you a total spend also.

We had salads for lunch that were great, although a little light on the chicken inclusion. The salted caramel apple fritter and ice cream was divine and big enough to share.

There are yard games for the back patio area and tables out the front also.

A great place to experience and we will definitely be back before the week is out.

As we headed back to the car the other vintage cars had come to the square with others turning up for a small car show.

The rat rod and its almost 80yr old owner were a hit!

A great quick visit in Cheyenne, as much of it we have seen before with a trip to the range to pick up packs ready for side matches.

Kat xo

Torrington, WY

Today we took the ‘stage’ to Torrington to see the Pony Express re-ride. Here they did a changeover of horse and mail just as occurred in 1860-1863.

Outside Bomgaars Supply the horse and rider came through just as we arrived and managed to video! A minute later and we would have missed the changeover as they were slightly ahead of time!

One rider jumped off her horse, grabbed the mochila throwing it on to the next rider’s horse and then she was on and heading out of town.

The rider (Stephanie, hope that’s right) we spoke with has been doing it for 25 years now, she started with her Dad. Now her, her husband and kids do the re-ride each year.

The riders today do approximately 2 miles each (so as not to wear their horses out) compared to the past where the original pony express stations were 50miles apart. However they often rode 75-100 miles in a stretch changing horses every 10-15miles.

I had to laugh, her husband said they use 5 horses and a back up. Sounds like cowboy shooters – take what you need plus your backup’s.

I’m glad we got there in time to see it!

We headed into Torrington and made a short stop at the Goshen County Museum situated in the original South Torrington Union Pacific Depot.

It had some very interesting artifacts in there and also had the 1996 Pony Express mochila. The rider we spoken to carried the flame for the Atlanta Olympics during the 1996 ride.

Back we headed towards Hawk Springs (population 45) where The Emporium steak house was calling us for late lunch.

What a neat little place! Has a great cowboy decor and feel, beer garden and drive thru!

The steak and dessert were divine! Highly recommend a stop there or make the 80 mile trek from Cheyenne up there! It was worth it.

We headed back to Wild Horse Haven and doubt very much we will need anything much for dinner tonight!

Yours in touring

Kat xo

Above and Beyond

I hope that when I recreate a costume that I have done the original justice and the 'Eva' gown is one of these that I truly hope I have.

Finishing the last on the panels today for the skirt. It has been full on chain stitch embroidery, appliqu├ęs, sequins and a little bit of bling to get it looking a little like the Hell On Wheels version.

It's actually a shame now to have to gather these panels to the skirt, but it has to be done.

 

Want to know how much embroidery has gone into this skirt?

This even stunned me yesterday – 296m/321.9yds of embroidery floss!

 

You heard me right and I haven't even started on the bodice yet which thankfully won't be as much work BUT is going to be stunning and I can't wait to see it finished, proper accoutrements gathered and worn by the lovely Belle Vaquera at a costume contest!

Love, love, love it!

Kat xo

 

Chain Stitch

Nothing like a challenge to keep your mind working overtime.

Chain stitch = time consuming

Time consuming = it worked!

It worked = total satisfaction!

Well not quite yet but super excited about achieving an emulation of the detail on Eva's gown!

Vine work is done on the other 2 panels – that's the easy part!

 

Leaves and petals need to be done on those to get to this stage

 

*squeals! Claps hands!* so excited to get past the chain stitch part but it's looking as good as what I was hoping for and then some.

Kat xo